On February 12, one month after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, instead of celebrating Mardi Gras the country’s president called for 3 days of prayer and fasting. One writer rightly asked if this were “revival stirrings in Haiti.”
This morning I saw a young Haitian-American woman, the leader of a work team, crying because the Americans could not understand the incredible importance of this day. They wanted to go about business as usual. Remember, it was only about six years ago that a former Haitian president called the nation to come together to rededicate the nation to Satan (which didn’t happen, by the way, as the Christian churches and Radio Lumiere set aside several days to fast and pray for their country at that time, also).
Whatever the president might have intended, this [call] became a real commitment for the Haitian people. As I sit here this evening, I can hear the preaching coming from a nearby church. Services have been going on all day. . . .
As we left the guest house about 7:30 a.m., we were met by throngs of dressed-up people headed to various churches. The sounds of Christian music and worship filled the air everywhere. . . .
The only places we encountered traffic blocks were in front of several churches where the congregations had overflowed the buildings, the yards, and out into the streets. . . .
Where were all the people? They were in churches and makeshift meeting sites. I didn’t see any Voodoo, Islamic, or Buddhist services, but every Christian church … had services going on, almost all of them overflowing into the streets. Beside broken-down churches, services were taking place outside. In homeless camps, there were services. Everywhere, the nation was gathered to worship and pray. This scene was repeated in every town and hamlet we passed during the day.
What’s the significance of all this? Jesus said, “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12; cf Luke 13:28-29).* This has happened twice already!
- Since the early days of the church, God has used the Gentiles to shame the Jews. They’ve been entering the kingdom of heaven en masse, while most Jews continue to reject their Messiah.
- Through the missionary movement of the 17th-19th centuries, God used cannibals, slaves, and other social/other outcasts to shame “enlightened” Europeans. The former embraced the gospel, while the latter rejected it in favor of worldly wisdom.
So what about now? Expect God to move mightily in 2010! He’s using the third world to shame the first. The “civilized” and “enlightened” first-world nations are embracing atheism, homosexuality, and other vile sins. In the third world, however, Christianity is spreading. In 2010, expect revival to start in the “third world.” Why?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. . . .Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:That no flesh should glory in His presence. — 1 Corinthians 1:21, 25-29*